Jay has chosen an itinerant life of busking and odd-jobbing, using rootlessness and stories to hide the guilt of his mistakes from the 1990s war in Croatia, beneath an outward layer of cheerfulness. When he arrives in the Yorkshire Dales and meets Marilyn, an artist, he feels he has finally found a place he could settle and a woman he could love. Jay wants to be honest with Marilyn but as the flashbacks that haunt him begin to reappear, he finds it hard.
Marilyn is fresh out of a controlling relationship, eager to reassert her independence and establish her pottery business. When the barn she plans to convert to a workshop suffers storm damage and Jay offers to help, she is intrigued by her enigmatic new friend and wonders if the practical support he gives her in rebuilding her life could turn to something more. How much of the stories he tells contain truth? Can she trust him?
When young economic migrant Vinko enters their lives, the past catches up with the present and stories become reality. Murder and kidnap force them both to decide how much they can believe and what it is they really want.
The story contrasts the idyllic Yorkshire Dales setting with the gritty reality of Northern cities, underlaid with a backdrop of the troubled times in 1990s Croatia.
‘Someone Else’s Conflict is a skilfully-written thriller that keeps urging the reader forward page by page. More than that, it is a subtle study of a relationship, between the roving storyteller Jay who has a past that haunts him, and the sympathetic Marilyn who welcomes him warily into her life, and learns that there is more to his stories than meets the eye. Handled with deftness and energy, this penetrating, possessing first novel deserves to succeed’ Simon Rees, Author and Dramaturg
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